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Should zinc be used as an adjunct therapy in severe pneumonia in Western Europe?
  1. Lucille Jayne Rose Mclean
  1. School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 0SP, UK
  1. Correspondence to Lucille Jayne Rose Mclean, University of Cambridge, School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge CB2 0SP, UK; ljrm2{at}

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Clinical scenario

A 3-year-old boy is brought into the accident and emergency department by his mother in visible respiratory distress. His mother explained that it started a few days ago with a fever and a bit of a cough and she thought that he had what all children got around this time of year. Since then, however, he has not got any better, and this morning when he woke up she noticed that he was breathing extremely quickly and making strange noises that sounded like grunts. The doctors diagnosed him with a severe community-acquired pneumonia and explained that he would have to be admitted for intravenous antibiotics and close observation. The next morning on the ward round the consultant was very worried about him as he was showing many of the features of very severe pneumonia. You have read that zinc could be useful in severe pneumonia in children and ask if it could help.

Clinical question

As an adjunct to standard treatment, does zinc (intervention) …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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